Millennials. The avocado-loving, coffee-drinking, experiential generation (or so the stereotypes say!). I wanted to know how climate change was going to impact some of the things that millennials (apparently) love the most. Here’s what I found:
1. AVOCADOS 🥑
The humble avocado has turned into a bit of a millennial icon. Whether on toast, in guacamole, or as the centrepiece in ‘Avocaderia’’s from Brooklyn to Britain, there’s no escaping the rising demand for the green stuff. But did you know that avocados are threatened by drought caused by climate change?
Although trends like our taste for avocado have an impact of their own (causing deforestation and water scarcity), put into context, brunchers the world over munching on avocado on toast (or any veggie alternative) are making a much better, lower-impact choice for the environment than anyone tucking into a meaty full English. So avocado away!
2. COFFEE ☕
A morning pick-me-up, catching up with friends, first dates – coffee is a liquid hug for our brains. Research suggests that by 2050 the amount of suitable coffee farmland is expected to have halved due to rising temperatures – and that coffee could be extinct by 2080!
So, why not buy your coffee from a supplier that is working to make a difference? Café Direct, for example, re-invest up to 50% of their profits into the grower communities that they buy from. They are improving livelihoods and diversifying crops in response to climate change, and helping farmers become more sustainable and prepared for the future.
3. CHOCOLATE 🍫
It’s there to help us celebrate special days (birthdays, parties) and to cheer us up when we’re feeling sad. Imagine a life without chocolate! A temperature rise of 2.1C over the next 30 years could spell an end for the chocolate industry worldwide.
Support your sweet tooth sustainably by buying fair-trade from suppliers such as Divine Chocolate, the only chocolate company in the world who are 100% fairtrade and owned by cocoa farmers. The NGO that helped to set up Divine (Twin), is working with its trading partners in Africa and Latin America to help them find ways to adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change.
4. BEER 🍺
You read it right, climate change could impact beer! In a similar way to how climate change could be the end of coffee and chocolate, our beer is also at risk. Droughts and changes in temperature will impact the growth of hops – a crucial ingredient in beer! This is already being seen in breweries in the US. Last year, UK beer company Brewdog talked openly about climate change and released their Make Earth Great Again beer to “shake the world by the shoulders and remind leaders to prioritise climate-change issues”.
5. TRAVEL 🏖
Climate change threatens to dramatically change the places we love to visit. Sea levels rise could flood much of the UK coast, including family favourites such as Great Yarmouth or Blackpool. Increased temperatures could turn Southern Spain to desert by 2100. Increasing ocean temperatures are destroying the coral reefs.
Changing our approach to travel, by switching air travel for train travel for example, will lower the impact of your holiday.
The good news is that you can take action! Have a look at these things you could do, with the most impactful one at the top:
- Eat more avocados (well, less meat!)- one of the biggest changes we can make as individuals is to eat less meat so why not think about cutting meat out of your lunches, or even limiting meat to 3 meals a week? It’s healthier too for us all, just check out all these athletes going vegan…
- Support renewable energy – A quick and easy switch of your energy provider to Good Energy or Ecotricity can mean green power and frack-free gas. Check them out today!
- Switch search engine to Ecosia – for an action that doesn’t really impact on you, but does impact the planet. By using Ecosia, you help to plant trees around the world to help tackle climate change.
- Take part in the and keep the conversation going about climate change.
I wrote this for Global Action Plan. The original blog can be found here.